[ nim-buhs ]
/ ˈnɪm bəs /
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noun, plural nim·bi [nim-buhbahy], /ˈnɪm bəbaɪ/, nim·bus·es.
Classical Mythology. a shining cloud sometimes surrounding a deity when on earth.
a cloud, aura, atmosphere, etc., surrounding a person or thing: The candidate was encompassed with a nimbus of fame.
the type of dense clouds or cloud mass with ragged edges, that yields rain or snow; a rain cloud.
(initial capital letter)U.S. Aerospace. one of a series of polar-orbiting meteorological and environmental research satellites, the last of which Nimbus 7, launched 1978, was the first satellite designed to monitor atmospheric pollutants.
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Origin of nimbus

First recorded in 1600–10; from Latin, “rainstorm, rain cloud, thundercloud, cloud”; akin to Latin nebula and Greek nephélē, néphos “cloud,” and Slavic (Polish ) niebo “sky, heaven”


nimbused, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use nimbus in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for nimbus

/ (ˈnɪmbəs) /

noun plural -bi (-baɪ) or -buses
  1. a dark grey rain-bearing cloud
  2. (in combination)cumulonimbus clouds
  1. an emanation of light surrounding a saint or deity
  2. a representation of this emanation
a surrounding aura or atmosphere

Derived forms of nimbus

nimbused, adjective

Word Origin for nimbus

C17: from Latin: cloud, radiance
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Scientific definitions for nimbus

[ nĭmbəs ]

Plural nimbi (nĭmbī′) nimbuses
A rain cloud.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.